KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will raise security issue concerns over the Sulu Sea, amid repeated kidnapping incidents, with its counterparts from the Philippines and Indonesia during the United States-Asean Defence Minister's Meeting (ADMM) in Hawaii, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
“I can confirm that when I attend the meeting on Thursday, during the US-ADMM, there will be a sideline meeting with my counterparts from the Philippines and Indonesia on the Trilateral Arrangement on the Security of the Sulu Sea meeting.
“Perhaps I can raise it and get the latest development,” he told reporters after launching the ground-breaking ceremony of the Armed Forces’ Wisma Bentara building, yesterday.
Hishammuddin was asked to comment on the latest development on Sabah waters security following the abduction of five Malaysians by Abu Sayyaf gunmen from Lahad Datu waters in the East coast of Sabah on July 18.
The Star reported in its exclusive interview on Monday that the Abu Sayyaf had sent out an SOS message from a Malaysian hostage, pleading for the Government’s help.
Last Wednesday, Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Rami called The Star from Jolo island, southern Philippines, and passed the phone to Mohd Ridzuan, 32, from Pahang, who was kidnapped with four Sabahan sailors – Tayudin Anjut, 45, Abd Rahim Summas, 62, Mohd Zumadil Rahim, 23, and Fandy Bakran, 26.
Asked whether the Armed Forces would deploy more assets to eastern Sabah, Hishammuddin said it was discussed at the National Security Council meeting.
“We are only playing a supporting role and we are only looking purely on the context of defence (in the area),” he said.